Number 01 – 11

Here’s songs 1-11 on the 2020 Great 88:

#11

“The One Who Really Loves You” by Mary Wells (1962)

The song, written by Smokey Robinson, talks about a woman who’s telling her boyfriend not to fall for other girls, because they don’t want him, and their love isn’t true, but hers is, so she’s telling him that he “better wake up” before they “break up”.  The single was the first of a trio of Top Ten hits with Robinson in the year (followed by “You Beat Me to the Punch” and “Two Lovers”). It featured vibraphone production and brought out a softer sound in Wells’ voice that hadn’t been shown in her earlier releases.

2019:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first year on survey

#10

“Be My Baby” by The Ronettes (1963)

Spector had already produced seven chart hits when he auditioned The Ronettes for his Philles record label. The Ronettes were Veronica (Ronnie) Bennett, her sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley. Phil fell in love with Veronica’s voice and immediately went about signing the group to Philles (the trio was under contract with Colpix Records who had issued a few singles and a album which did not chart).  Spector and Bennett got married in 1968, and they divorced in 1974.

2019:  #1, Highest Ranking:  #1 in 2019

#9

“The Wah-Watusi” by The Orlons (1962)

There were three songs about the Watusi dance. This was the second song and biggest hit about the dance. The first was “The Watusi” (by the Vibrations, US #25), and the third was “El Watusi” (by Ray Barretto, US #17).

2019:  #22, Highest Ranking:  #16 in 2018

#8

“Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1957)

This was one of the first pop songs to feature the “Bo Diddley” sound, a series of beats (da, da, da, da-da da) popularized by Diddley, who used it on his first single, the egotistically named “Bo Diddley.”

2019:  #50, Highest Ranking:  #23 in 2018

#7

“He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons (1963)

Recalling the time he saw songwriter Ronnie Mack’s songs for the first time, Jay Siegel of The Tokens told us: “He came up with a composition notebook with all these amazing songs in it. They had the most incredible lyrics; not intellectual lyrics, but just the things that people speak of in everyday language.” He told us that if Mack lived, “He would have sustained and would have been one of the most successful songwriters of the ’60s.”  Mack died in 1963 at the age of 23.

2019:  #12, Highest Ranking:  #12 in 2019

#6

“Singing the Blues” by Guy Mitchell (1956)

This was written by 20-year-old American Country singer Melvin Endsley in 1954.  It was first aired on KWCB radio the following year and it was so well-received that Endsley took it to Nashville to try to sell it. There, he met Marty Robbins, who recorded the song on Columbia in August 1956 and it climbed the charts eventually peaking at #17 and topping the country list for 13 weeks. 

2019:  #60, Highest Ranking:  #42 in 2016

#5

“Searchin'” by The Coasters (1957)

Paul McCartney chose “Searchin'” as one of his must-have songs in a 1982 broadcast of the BBC radio show Desert Island Discs. The Beatles also picked this song to audition for Decca records in 1962.

2019:  #53, Highest Ranking:  #28 in 2017

#4

“Do You Want to Dance” by Bobby Freeman (1960)

Bobby Freeman was 17 when he wrote and recorded “Do You Want To Dance,” a high energy pop hit with a common topic early in the rock era: asking a girl to dance.  Freeman had been performing with three other teenagers at dances and other functions when a San Francisco DJ brought him in to record the song. Released on the Josie label, it was a big hit in the summer of 1958.

2019:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first year on survey

#3

“Up on the Roof” by The Drifters (1963)

First recorded by Little Eva, this breezy summertime song evokes the high-rise apartments in American cities where urban dwellers could escape from the stresses of daily living by climbing onto the tar “beaches” on the roofs of their buildings. 

2019:  #17, Highest Ranking:  #17 in 2019

#2

“In the Still of the Night” by The Five Satins (1956)

The song was recorded in the basement of St. Bernadette Church in the group’s hometown of New Haven, Connecticut. They first tried recording the song in another New Haven building (on Whalley Avenue), but street noise degraded the recording. The church basement had great acoustics and was insulated from ambient noise, making it a perfect place to record. 

2018:  #10, Highest Ranking:  #1 in 2015 and 2017

#1

“Come Go With Me” by The Dell-Vikings (1957)

The song was originally recorded by The Del-Vikings in 1956 and was released on Fee Bee Records. Norman Wright was the lead vocalist on this song. When the group signed with Dot Records in 1957, the song became a hit, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming the group’s highest-charting song. The song was later featured in the films American Graffiti (1973), Diner (1982), Stand by Me (1986) and Joe Versus the Volcano (1990).

2019:  #2, Highest Ranking:  #1 in 2018

Check out all the songs that made the 2020 Great 88 here. You can also see the first round results here.

Listen to “The Grooveyard” following “Rick’s Redneck Ranch” each Saturday night at 7 PM on 88.1 FM on Long Island or by clicking the 88.1 FM link on wcwp.org, via the TuneIn app. or the  WCWP app on your iPhone or Android device.  You can also follow us on Twitter. and on the Facebook groups for the show and WCWP.

It’s Saturday nights with. . .

“The Grooveyard”

…Where Oldies Come Alive!

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